The Fed Hikes Rates Again: 3 Steps You Should Take Now

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

The Federal Reserve's latest action is bound to affect your pocketbook. Here's how you can make the most of it.

The Federal Reserve System raised its benchmark federal funds rate to a range between 0.75 and 1 percent Wednesday.

This follows a similar increase in December, and it’s the third hike since the rate was held in a range of zero to 0.25 percent for eight years.

The Federal Reserve, also called “the Fed,” is responsible for setting monetary policy for the country. When it hikes the federal funds rate, you can expect your finances to be impacted — whether for the better, the worse or both.

Here’s what you can do to make the most of it:

1. Look for a better credit card rate

If you pay off your credit card bills in full every month without fail and are certain you can continue doing so in the future, pat yourself on the back.

If not, now is the time to search for a credit card with a lower interest rate and pay off any credit card debt you’ve already accumulated.

Why: Most credit card interest rates are variable, meaning they go up and down along with interest rate trends as a whole. So your credit card interest rate might rise each time the Federal Reserve hikes the federal funds rate.

How: Visit the Monday Talks News Solutions Center so you can find the perfect credit card. There, you can search for credit cards based on such factors as rates or rewards.

You can also get help with credit card debt if you feel overwhelmed. Not sure if that’s you? Check out “11 Signs You Have Too Much Credit Card Debt (and What to Do About It).”

2. Lock in a mortgage rate

If you have or are shopping for a mortgage, know that your monthly mortgage obligation might be on the rise.

This primarily applies to adjustable-rate mortgages, making now the time to lock in a rate if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage. But fixed-rate mortgages might be affected too.

Why: Adjustable-rate mortgages “adjust” periodically. So if you have one, you should expect your monthly obligation to increase as the federal funds rate increases.

There is no direct relationship between fixed-rate mortgages and the federal funds rate, but fixed-rate mortgages are likely to move higher over time as the federal funds rate increases.

Additionally, mortgage rates remain near historic lows, and probably have nowhere to go but higher over the long term.

How: You can search for the best mortgage rate in our Solutions Center.

For help paying your housing debt down faster — regardless of whether you lock in a new rate — check out “7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years Earlier.”

3. Compare rates on savings

If you have or plan to open a savings account or certificate of deposit, it can pay to invest a little time into comparing interest rates on such accounts in the weeks and months after a Fed rate hike.

Why: When the Fed increases the federal funds rate, the interest rates on savings accounts and CDs are likely to move higher as well. That means you stand to make more money on your savings.

How: You can find a higher-paying savings account through our Solutions Center — whether you need a savings account, money market account or CD.

For more tips, check out “8 Ways to Earn More on Your Savings.”

How do you feel about today’s rate hike? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 30 Awesome Things to Do in Retirement

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,959 more deals!